Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Two Letters on the Subject of Slavery in the United States, Addressed to Thomas Clarkson, Esq. >> Page 155

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Page 155

Correspondence | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 155
the poor and laboring classes of our older Free States
would not be in a much more enviable condition but
for our slavery. One of their own Senators has de-
clared in the United States Senate " that the repeal of
the Tariff would reduce New England to a howling
wilderness." And the American Tariff is neither more
nor less than a system by which the slave States are
plundered to benefit those States which do not tolerate
slavery.
To prove what I say of Great Britain to be true, I
make the following extracts from the Reports of Com-
missioners appointed by Parliament, and published by
order of the House of Commons. I can make but few
and short ones. But similar quotations might be made
to any extent, and I defy you to deny that these speci-
mens exhibit the real condition of your operatives in
every branch of your industry. There is of course a
variety in their sufferings. But the same incredible
amount of toil, frightful destitution, and utter want of
morals, characterize the lot of every class of them.
Collieries. " I wish to call the attention of the Board
to the pits about Brampton. The seams are so thin
that several of them have only two feet head-way to all
the working. They are worked altogether by boys
from 8 to 12 years of age, on all-fours, with a dog belt
and chain ; the passages being neither ironed nor
wooded, and often an inch or two thick with mud.
In Mr. Barnes' pit these poor boys have to drag the
barrows with one cwt. of coal or slack 60 times a day
60 yards, and the empty barrows back, without once
straightening their backs, unless they choose to stand
under the shaft and run the risk of having their heads
broken by a falling coal." Rep. on Mines, 1842, p. 71.